Some RM100 million has been allocated for 200 new buses for Rapid Penang, which already has 150 buses.
The additional buses will slash the average waiting time from 25 minutes to 10 minutes and enable Rapid Penang to add 14 new routes to its existing 33. The target is to raise the daily passengers from 48,000 to 120,000.
Rapid Penang, funded by the Ministry Of Finance Incorporated, is a subsidiary of Syarikat Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (Rapid KL).
From the grapevine, I understand that the 200 new buses for Rapid Penang have already been ordered: 100 buses are meant for Penang Island and 100 for Seberang Perai (mainland Penang).
According to a reliable source, the authorities in KL have already agreed to the 100 buses for the island, but there have been questions raised over the 100 buses for the mainland. Perhaps this reflects KL’s concern over how these new buses will affect the businesses of the existing “well-connected” private bus operators on the mainland.
I hope that the interests of the long-suffering public, the bus commuters, will prevail.